Gerard Kennedy has heard the rumours. He's been through this before.
The Liberal MP for Parkdale-High Park has seen his name floated yet again as a potential candidate to replace Mayor David Miller.
It's not surprising, considering the profile he has built here since he moved to Toronto from Edmonton in the early 1980s, first as executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank, then as provincial education minister.
But he's not biting.
"Names get thrown up like piñatas," he told The Globe and Mail. "I've started to hear from people who've made the ask on this, but it's not serious. I don't have a municipal background or interest. I have a concern about Toronto for sure, but there's no serious draft thing. I think I'm just one of those many, many names being bounced around. I think Miller's from my area, so I think there's probably a quota for our riding."
* * * *
Adam Giambrone is seriously considering a run for mayor, as we reported today.
Critics are quick to question his age. Some say the 32-year-old councillor for Davenport would have been in a much better spot to run for the city's top job if Mr. Miller had sought a third term, opening the field to Mr. Giambrone in 2014.
Mr. Giambrone said he's been confronting the age "stereotype" his entire professional career:
"I've spent my life being the youngest person in positions and positions of authority, whether it's organizing logistics on projects overseas. I think I started my first one at 18 or 19 in Sudan ... I've been the president of the New Democratic Party, elected when I was 24, and I was chair of the TTC at 29, elected as a councillor at 25 or 26. I've always confronted the issue of age. It always has been raised because it's a natural question. But what usually happens, it's been a question in a new position for about the first four to six months until people have actually seen what I can do, and then it hasn't been an issue afterwards. I've really spent my life through a number of different roles confronting that stereotype."
* * * *
Neethan Shan, Peter K. Youngren, Karen Sun, Cadigia Ali, Mohamed Dhanani.
These are some of the names to watch in the 2010 municipal election, as we explain in today's feature on who plans to run or not.
Another name should be added to the list:
Alejandra Bravo, manager of leadership programs at the Maytree Foundation, is mulling another run after her tough 2006 battle with Cesar Palacio for Ward 17, Davenport. "I haven't made a decision yet. It's a significant risk in terms of life and work, and I really enjoy what I'm doing right now with Maytree," she said. However, she cited her ward's lack of public spaces and parks, pool closures, policing and immigrant settlement as issues that need attention.
* * * *
It ain't easy knocking off an incumbent. As we noted today, the 2003 election ushered in 13 new faces on council, but only on of them unseated an incumbent. In 2206, Anthony Perruzza was the only challenger to knock off a sitting councillor, beating Peter Li Preti by 579 votes.
We surveyed all 44 councillors on their intentions for 2010. A total of 36 said they plan to run again next year, with a handful adding they are considering a mayoral run. Only one, Giorgio Mammoliti, has publicly declared that he'll run. There's an interesting piece in today's National Post on his potential platform.
Six were either undecided or non-committal: Case Ootes, Kyle Rae, Mike Feldman, Karen Stintz, Ron Moeser and Michael Walker.
Two councillors, Howard Moscoe and Mike Del Grande, refused to take part.
"I'm not at liberty to say right now," Mr. Del Grande said (cue the James Bond theme music).
Mr. Moscoe "has no intention of declaring his intention," an aide said.